So let’s say you get it all right. You’ve
worked diligently for some time to
put together what you think to be a great marketing program. You now have an
extensive marketing plan that you feel will
work, which includes great creative ideas
and a communications timeline. Your plan
is put together in a professional presentation, you have great visual images, a catchy
and compelling campaign, radio spots, TV
commercials, print ads, flyers, posters,
direct mailers, billboards and nifty promotional items. And you’re now ready to
reach out to your public…
Stop. Your plan may be flawlessly
designed, but are you truly prepared to
walk your talk? Have you consulted with
your staff and conducted essential internal
research to ensure your plan’s success?
Now you might say, “Malcolm, we don’t
need to do any of that touchy-feely stuff;
none of that matters. Our marketing plan is
perfect and really ‘pops.’” I’m here to tell
you that, unfortunately, your plan is seriously flawed.
One of the biggest failures of a potentially successful marketing plan is neglecting
to consult with your internal customers,
conduct employee research or communicate the plan to your employees. Do your
employees have a copy of the plan? Did
they have input or help write it? Do they
know anything about the plan better yet,
do they even care?
Chances are you probably guard this
“strategic information” like the Fort Knox
treasury. Don’t destroy yourself before you
even begin. You may have the external and
media touch points well addressed, but not
thoroughly addressing your internally
affected touch points is the express lane to
a business dead-end.
Every touch point to a customer or
potential customer matters nothing matters more. What is a touch point?
Everything from the vocal inflection when
answering phones, office dcor, personalities, customer-centric attitudes and
actions, to the bathroom being cleaned
and condition of the walkways and windows. Everything about your business is a
reflection of who and what you are as an
organization. The easiest way to blow a successful plan is to ignore some of these
minute details. On the other hand, fine-tuning and orchestrating those details help
take marketing and your business to
Get your left and right talking
Systematically address this internal marketing and alignment. Survey your internal
staff; talk to key players that deliver and
execute on the claims made in your marketing. Be sure to include all of your
employees. Dig a little deeper to see how
even staff who don’t interact with your customers make an impact on customer deliverables. You may be surprised to find just
how many ways that everything they do
can help (or hinder) your marketing
results. This process isn’t just about the
CEO’s opinion; it’s about everyone
involved in the day-to-day processes.
These are the people who are ultimately
responsible for your customer’s happiness.
Use their perspectives to better gauge the
approach that you want to take to satisfy
your customers. This is a formative
process that allows you to look at the company as a whole and pinpoint specific
pieces that allow you to figure out the company’s best alignment to deliver what is
called your “brand promise.”
Do all of the employees know the 2007
goals? It’s the CEO’s job to set the vision,
and share the goals. Creating the goals of
the company and having a great marketing
plan are useless in your desk drawer or
attracting dust on the bookshelf. In fact,
your plan should reflect the goals and
vision of the company and be integrated
into the daily tasks throughout the ranks.
In order to achieve a goal, you have to put
some effort into it. Simply setting goals is
not enough. The goals should be acknowledged and shared with everyone in order
to achieve them. In addition to the overall
goals of the company, each employee
should have a record of their goals and
objectives to check frequently and make
sure that they are on the right track.
Everyone is accountable.
Once you’ve been able to share and align
your vision, goals and infrastructure, your
brand delivery will be turbocharged and
your marketing plan destined for success.
Taking these steps will allow everyone to
get a better grasp on your company’s direction and help motivate your employees to
better address the expectations of your
customers. It’s not just about having good
ideas, it’s what you do with them that matters. We’re only two months into the year,
so it’s not too late to take out your marketing plan from the desk drawer and start
MALCOLM TEASDALE is the principal and “Big Idea Catalyst”
of Teasdale Worldwide, a strategic marketing firm headquartered
in Tampa, Fla. Reach him at [email protected]
To obtain a new direction, increase revenue, and the expertise to
facilitate your customers UBAs, call Kathi Kasel at (813) 868-1520 or e-mail [email protected] To view additional articles, register at www.MalcolmOutLoud.com.